Thursday, June 27, 2013
Calibrating Speakers Limits Their Performance
If you are using Room Control or Room EQs you are not getting the most performance out of your speakers/monitors. In theory calibration sets your monitors closer to a certain specification. This only works in one point of the room. Calibration limits the peak performance in all the other areas of the room. Your speaker's natural performance capabilities are also tapered. This is similar to when setting your color TV to "what looks the best" (peak performance) instead of setting it to neutral color balance (calibrated). If you want your speakers to sound the best, set them by ear. I do not believe in calibration any longer. Its not useful for mixing.
The only pros to calibration is that everything will seem smoother. This is great for playback in a bad room. It may help intelligibility somewhat. But you do lose the "wow" factor from your system, which might have been why you bought it in the first place.
Color TV also looks different at different brightness or gamma. The same goes for speakers. They will sound different at different volume levels...so the moral of the story is to set the controls to what you like for peak performance. Most of the time calibration always hit the mark anyway. When creating we want to see and hear as much information as we can, and for some people that might be turning Room EQs off, or just bumping up the bass for awhile. You can use your own judgement and experiment with what works.